Saturday, July 22, 2017

Honey Garlic Chicken Stir Fry (Pressure Cooker)

I very loosely followed this recipe. I forgot the ketchup and sesame oil, opted for black pepper rather than red pepper flakes, added orange juice, used arrowroot instead of cornstarch, and added orange cauliflower, carrots, green beans, celery, green onions after browning the chicken. I also added a little bit of chicken broth. I used a rice cooker for the rice. The flavor was incredible! And the sauce thickened up nicely under pressure in 12 minutes. Again, a practically effortless, thumbs up meal!

Breakfast Casserole (Pressure Cooker)

As I remodel my kitchen, and forgo the stove, I'm getting to know my electric pressure cooker intimately. Yesterday, I finally used the browning feature for the sausage in my breakfast casserole. It was amazing! I added the onions to carmelize, then when it seemed ready, I added the egg mixture and battened down the hatch. I have an 8 quart cooker, so I ended up using a dozen eggs and 3 lbs of sausage (2 bkfst, 1 spicy). Since it was larger than the actual recipe, My cook time ended up being 30 minutes. Since I don't have a trivet yet or an extra bowl to put inside the cooker, my edges were browned. "That's the best part" according to the hubby. :) It was a fun comfort food meal that felt effortless and allowed me to continue working on the remodel. The great thing is that it doesn't heat up the house and only required about 45 minutes of electricity. 

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Apple Butter (Crockpot)

A friend of ours up the road "Yellow Transparent" apples for sale so I bought a box. Yellow Transparents don't have a long shelf life, so I had to prepare them right away. I ended up making applesauce, apple butter and apple pie filling. For those who like a tart apple, this one is ranked 10/10. I really enjoyed the flavor, but I feel I need to make people who try it aware of the tartness. Overall fun and easy to make.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Purple Cauliflower Pizza Crust

The hubby bought purple cauliflower so I wanted to do something special. I found a Pinterest recipe for a cauliflower crust with goat cheese added. I topped it with steak cubes, onions and mushrooms. It turned out super yummy but I will probably not add salt to anything to mellow it out. Definitely will be making again...maybe with orange cauliflower next time :)

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Sausage plait (English Sausage Roll)

I was so excited to have the opportunity to make these! I was invited to ladies tea by our darling neighbor and I've been watching the Great British Baking Show Master Class on Netflix. I was admittedly nervous since the only "pastry" thing I've ever made is a pie crust. I used the link below as a guide, but followed the instructions on the Netflix episode almost to the letter. The only thing that is difficult to find in America is Black Pudding. I think I'll order it on Amazon for the freezer, should I decide I want to create another traditional British treat.  This time, I'm actually posting my own picture rather than from the link. :)

Monday, July 10, 2017

Banana Poke Cake

Once again, I had pudding boxes that were nearing expiration, so I "had" to come up with something. This happened to be banana pudding and I really enjoy poke cakes, so I whipped up this pan of yumminess yesterday. It takes about 4 stages to prepare (with lots of cooling and chilling), so make sure, if you're planning to serve it to a group, that you have plenty of time. Also, a trick to extend the life of this cake is to serve the bananas separately, slicing them for each individual bowl more as a garnish. That way, you don't end up with brown bananas in your cake and it can seem fresh for several days. In this particular case, I crushed animal crackers and vanilla wafers. I had to restrain myself from eating the entire pan. :D

Monday, July 3, 2017

Beet and Russian Kale with Goat cheese

Let the games begin. Daily, we've been harvesting lettuce for awesome salads. However, today was Russian Kale day. We've had too much, I had to use Pinterest to decide what to do. I actually used 2 different recipes (see previous post). I had beets to use up, so I just chopped and boiled, but kept the skins on. My goat cheese had gotten too soft, so I froze it before crumbling. I absolutely love goat cheese! This is one dish you should not skip/skimp on goat cheese. The russian kale is light and goes well with beets. I recommend preparing this a couple of hours in advance and chilling, however, room temparture was delicious as well. I think if we end up with more russian kale, I will be making this one again. Very easy to prepare. :)

Red Russian Kale with Garlic and Lemon

Let the games begin. Daily, we've been harvesting lettuce for awesome salads. However, today was Russian Kale day. We've had too much, I had to use Pinterest to decide what to do. I actually used 2 different recipes (see next post). Jason loves a similar dish with chards, so I replicated it with Russian Kale. I added mushrooms and red onions as per our usual. It was very nice. Not as pungent as chards. A very tolerable super food. :)

Sunday, July 2, 2017

4th of July Pig Roast Menu

Yesterday was an "Epic" day of celebration with the neighbors. We used one of our York pigs for a Kalua Style Pig roast. Since it was our first time, we can look back at lessons learned, the biggest being a pig that should have been about 100 pounds lighter. She took many more hours to cook than anticipated. Nonetheless, we had a great time full of food, fireworks and fun.

1. White Cheddar Macaroni and Cheese

2. Macaroni Salad

3. Saffron Rice

4. Carolina Coleslaw

5. Baked Beans

6. Potato Salad

7. Green Beans

8. Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

9. Pineapple Upside-down Cupcakes

10. Red White and Blue Cheesecake Salad

11. Old Glory Berry Pie

12. Red White and Blueberries

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Steak Fries wrapped with Flank Steak

I came across this recipe on Facebook and couldn't wait to try it. I modified it using potato wedges (quartered potatoes) baked for 45 minutes at 400 degrees. While the potatoes were cooking, the steak was marinating. I love this particular recipe because the dijon mustard and rosemary created a really nice flavor. I used my grinder to make a powder out of the rosemary, added garlic and also used part spicy sweet mustard and part dijon. I turned up the temperature to 425 degrees and cooked and additional 20 minutes. It tasted amazing and not too time-consuming. :)

Chicken Broccoli Shells and Cheese

This was definitely as good as it looked. The teenager coined the term "gravy cheese"--I mean, who doesn't love cheesy gravy?! We had some friends over for dinner, so I ended up doubling the recipe. I also accidentally pulled out chicken thighs instead of breasts, and unsure if they would like the combo, I cooked the chicken seperately. Served with salad and corn-on-the-cob, it was a big hit. Definitely an easy one to prepare and worth the effort.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Pressure Cooker Taco Pie

Last night was all about crunch time and comfort food. I saw this recipe on facebook and couldn't wait to try it. I think next time I'll use tostadas or chips. Overall this was a very good recipe, but I could tell it would have been better baked to crispy in the oven. The boys topped it with homemade salsa, lettuce and sour cream, so it was really more like an open-face burrito. Again, only 5 minutes for the pressure cooker to heat up and pressurize and 10 minutes to cook. I think in the future, I'll start keeping pre-browned meat in the freezer to make it even faster.

Pressure Cooker Lasagna

Time to catch up on blogs for the week....The temperature has been up in the 90's and our home doesn't have AC--yet. I think I'm now addicted to my electric pressure cooker because all the things I've made this week have taken 10 minutes or less. No heating up the house, no heavy consumption of electricity, amazing meals that can be ready very quickly. I have to admit on this one though, It took me longer to prepare than to cook. (mainly because I had to brown the meat, mix the cheese combo and put in the layers. It was definitely worth it! Delicious lasagna in the heat of summer-cool!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Seafood in the Electric Pressure Cooker

The days are getting longer which means the hubby is outside until sundown. It makes it challenging to plan the dinner timing. This week he wants his meals to be lean so I used my electric pressure cooker for trout and shrimp. It takes the cooker about 5 minutes to "warm up" and then 5 minutes to cook the fish. I used the water and lemon juice per instruction, but went with garlic, dill, salt, pepper, and a little bit of butter. Paired with rice and a salad, it was the fastest meal I think I've ever prepared. I'm must say, I'm in love with my pressure cooker, especially when it's 94 degrees.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

1 Hour Cinnamon Rolls

I am so thrilled that my first attempt at cinnamon rolls was a success. It's all due to one of my favorite Facebook pages Eazy Peazy Mealz. Thanks to her diligence and research, I was able to bake with ease. I don't think I'll have to search anywhere else for my (new) go-to recipe. The only caveat, is that I rolled my dough fairly thin, so I had smaller rolls. I ended up making 40 rolls! Good think I had good "testers".

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Honey Garlic Chicken Stir Fry

I had leftover chicken that was seasoned with McCormick "Smokehouse Maple" and wanted a quick and easy recipe that also used the broccoli I had in the fridge. I recently upgraded my Wok, so I decided it was time to break it in. :) I ended up adding red pepper, celery, sesame oil and extra soy sauce. The honey was the perfect ingredient for this wonderful stir fry. I also used the rice cooker for Jasmine rice. This one had very little leftover--gobbled up with seconds and thirds. ;)

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dip

Need a go to for parties? This is a great quickie to "whip" up. I used mini vanilla wafers and animal cookies for the dip. When you use the stand mixer and whisk attachment on high, you can take the cream cheese right out of the fridge throw it in the bowl with the other ingredients (minus the chocolate chips) you'll have cookie dip in 2-3 minutes! So addicting--another dam in the clean eating river....;)

Feta and Vegetable Rotini Salad

I never know what to do with rainbow rotini, but I think a found a winner on Pinterest. I omitted the olives and added bacon. It passed the hubby's inspection--thumb's up. :)

The Best Macaroni Salad Ever (Sweet) (Pioneer Woman)

I was looking for a macaroni salad that was sweet. Usually the hubby wants a vinegar, mustard macaroni salad, but this time, I wanted "my" version. The Pioneer Woman wins again! I did end up adding bacon and mustard for extra tang, but the bread & butter pickles (and a few leftover gerkins chopped) hit the spot. :)

Mississippi Post Roast--Electric Pressure Cooker

So, I forgot to put the roast in the crockpot this morning. Hmm...well, I decided it was time to get to know the 8 quart electric pressure cooker that I bought a couple of months ago. OMG! This thing is Ah-Mazing. I threw it all in the pot and 60 minutes later---BAM! Dinner. So stoked! This will save a lot of heat an electricity this summer. No more stovetop pots or crockpot dishes. Easy to clean, easy to use. Definitely worth the investment. Also this is my all-time favorite pot roast recipe. Pepperoncinis are delicious and perfect for beef!

Chocolate Chip Toffee Bars

So now that the weather is warming up and cooperating, my blog time is significantly reduced. I made this last week, but it's definitely a keeper--super yummy! I didn't have enough heath to sprinkle on top so I added butterscotch chips. Oh my---"Crack Bars"!  The shortbread bottom, sweetened condensed milk drizzle and topping definitely brought my clean eating to shame. Since the hubby loves heath, caramel and butterscotch, I have a feeling I will be making this one again. :)

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Baked Cod with Tartar Sauce

The hubby recently bought cod which confused me because he doesn't usually like white fish. Then he explained, "I know it's good for me, so I figured I should eat it." After knowing him for 9 years, I know that his favorite is prepared baked and with Panko. I particularly liked this recipe because you marinade the fish first. I used smoked paprika which I feel was essential. I didn't use the tartar sauce in this link but will post the link to the one that I did use. Paired with rice and salad was perfect.

Million Dollar Spaghetti

So I have leftover spaghetti noodles and sauce earlier this week. I typed in "baked spaghetti" on Pinterest and lo and behold, I found the recipe to beat ALL recipes--at least according to the hubby. :) I only used sour cream and cream cheese; I didn't have cottage cheese at the time. It was super easy. I re-named it "Lunch Lady Spaghetti" but Million Dollar Spaghetti was very appropriate.

Watermelon Rice Krispie Treats

Pinterest day--Success! This was my second Pinterest attempt (non-fail). I used miniature chocolate chips instead of chocolate covered sunflower seeds. It turned out super cool-I used more red and green for sharper colors. Kid friendly recipe.

Marbled Oreos

Pinterest day! I don't usually do artsy desserts, but the next 2 posts, I knew I could handle (I hoped anyway). Marbled oreos are super easy and a great idea to do with kids. The color combinations are endless too. 1. I used almond bark, but you can buy melting chocolate in the wedding section at Walmart. 2. In the video, the girl mentions "chocolate coloring". It's actually Wilton's Icing color (found in the wedding section at Walmart). 3.You will have to dip your colors in the white chocolate after 3 cookie dips. Repeat every 3 cookies. 4. Use a narrow, deep dish for the cookie dunking if you want to coat at least half.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Best Fried Rice

Thanks to my neighbor, I now have ample supply of eggs for my day-to-day cooking. Yesterday, I didn't feel like thawing out a meat for dinner and everyone had had a big lunch so I decided a vegetarian meal would be ok. I cooked about 8 cups of rice so I doubled the recipe. I also used frozen mixed vegetables and it tasted fine without oyster sauce (which you can just substitute additional soy sauce). It was perfect and hit the spot. 

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Fluffy Lemon Pudding Dessert

Yep-you guessed it, this is another pudding recipe that needed to happen. I won't say this one is my favorite, but then again, lemon pudding isn't either. I ended up adding lemon juice to the pudding mix which helped alot. I also added fresh blueberries to the top. The hubby enjoyed it, although he doesn't plow through pudding desserts unless they contain chocolate ;)

Chocolate Chip Heath Bar Cookies

The hubby loves heath and it had been a while (few weeks) since he'd seen these type of cookies in the cookie jar. This was a yummy recipe.We'll see how long they stay in the jar. ;)

Pistachio Dessert

So I've been doing a pantry inventory of expiring foods. I had a series of pudding that I've slowly been using up. I think I was planning something with pistachio last year that never made it to the table, so I decided it was time. Pistachio pudding is my favorite, so needless to say, I ended up eating quite a bit of this one (found on Pinterest). You can't go wrong with a shortbread crust and cream cheese. ;)

Creamy Cheesy Chicken Spaghetti

Tonight I put on my lunch lady hat and "re-purposed" last night's spaghetti dinner. I ended up with WAY too many noodles and needed to come up with a solution. I also had cooked a whole chicken a couple of days ago (in the crockpot and give the broth to the dogs). So tonight I'm using half of the spaghetti as a mexican bake and tomorrow will be a cold spaghetti salad. I was able to get this one together in less than 10 minutes and bake for 30. Easy peesy. :)

Saturday, April 15, 2017


Every once in a while I get a craving for New Orleans style food. The hubby had added to the freezer Andouille sausage and the store was having a great sale on shrimp so I decided it was time for a nice big pot of gumbo. I will say this is the best version I have ever tried, the hubby seconded that. I cooked the bacon and sausage in the bottom of the pot first then started adding the other ingredients. I also like to add rice to my gumbo. Since I only had a couple of hours to get it simmering and served, I used the rice cooker then added the cooked rice to the pot. The hubby has a hard time with green peppers so I used my mini food processor to chop it up fine--no complaints! I used Sriracha for the hot sauce and, although I think there is a misprint regarding the gumbo file powder, I added 4 teaspoons, but 3 might have been a little better. I did add 6 cups of water rather than 3 since I added rice. I also added carrots per the hubby's request. I recommend taste testing and add salt in moderation. This one is definitely a keeper. :)

7-Up Salad

I've been playing the Monopoly game at our local grocery store and one of my game pieces won me a bottle of 7-Up. We hardly ever buy 2 liter bottles of soda, but I decided it would be fun to go down memory lane and make a version of mom's 7-up salad. The recipe I found was very traditional. My mom always put walnuts in hers, but both of us omit the cottage cheese. We also us lemon jello. It's a very refreshing dessert and seemed a good pairing for our Easter weekend traditional steak, baked potato and green beans (with bacon and apple cider vinegar). It's the first time trying this for the hubby.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Carolina Coleslaw

The hubby grew up in Virginia and has always preferred the vinegar versions of BBQ. I had some leftover cabbage from my recent (over) purchase--I tend to go overboard when I see a sale. :) I came across this recipe. I didn't stay 100% true to the ingredients; per the hubby, it's okay to add mayo, so I did. I also didn't use green pepper; used 1/2 red and 1/2 green cabbage; used chopped red onion; and always use apple cider vinegar. This is probably one of the best coleslaws I've tasted in a long time. #winner

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Corn Bread (Little House on the Prairie)

I recently bought the Melissa Gilbert (Laura Ingalls) Prairie cookbook My Prairie Cookbook. It's wonderfully illustrated and has anecdotal tales by Melissa of her life as Laura and current life. It's really more than a cookbook and worth the reasonable price. The recipe actually calls for scallions but it was just fine without them. Next time, I'll add double the honey and a bit more salt. The cast iron skillet is still on my wish list, so I used a pyrex pan and it turned out perfect even at 6500 ft elevation. :)

1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup coarse stone-ground yellow cornmeal
2 teaspoons baking powder
1-2 teaspoons salt
Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
1 1/4 cups low-fat milk
2-4 tablespoons honey
2 large eggs, beaten
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon corn oil
8 scallions, thinly sliced

Serves 8

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place a 10-inch cast-iron skillet in the oven to heat.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt, and pepper. In a small bowl, whisk together the milk, honey, eggs, and 1/3 cup of the oil. Add the wet ingredients to the cornmeal mixture and whisk just until combined. Stir in the scallions.
3. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil to the hot skillet and swirl to coat. Pour the batter into the hot skillet and bake for about 30 minutes, until the top is golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let it cool slightly, then invert the skillet and turn the corn bread out onto a wire rack to cool. Alternatively, server the corn bread hot directly from the skillet. 

Mama Schquigs Oven Baked Country-Style Pork Ribs

The hubby bought pork shoulder country style ribs--this was a new one for me. Of course Google didn't let me down. I really enjoyed reading Mama Schquigs blog as well as her methodology/recipe. We even use Sweet Baby Rays as our favorite BBQ sauce. Easy peasy. Serving it up with mashed potatoes, macaroni salad and cornbread. YUM!

French-Style Salad Dressing

I've discovered that the hubby "remembers" to eat salad when I make homemade dressing. I put it on the top shelf in the refrigerator and it's amazing how often he "thinks" to make himself a plate of greens. Last time I made a honey dijon dressing that lasted about 3 days. I scrolled past this one today on Facebook, so I decided it was time to "entice" him again. ;)  It has a truly delicious flavor; I like the Worcestershire added.

Bacon Macaroni Salad

Tonight is BBQ night (see post for Country Style Ribs and French Style Salad Dressing). What could go better with ribs and mashed potatoes? Ok, potato salad and coleslaw join in the rankings, but tonight macaroni salad is the winner. I like this recipe because it's more on the tart side. I love how cute the salad macaroni shape! I took the advice of the reviewers and added an extra tomato. I was also happy with the size of the salad for a smaller family; normally they are potluck portions.

Friday, March 31, 2017

The Ultimate Bread Recipe

One of my favorite Facebook groups is Homesteading with Patara of Appalachia's Homestead. One of my first experiences making bread was with The Mixer Bible. Now that one took 6 hours of multiple processes. Then I discovered the following recipe and am ecstatic that it only takes 2 hours and "boom!" bread! It's a good thing too because I forgot to buy bread this week and we're likely snowed in this weekend. I couldn't let the teenager go without his grilled cheeses, egg sandwiches and PBJs. :) Seriously though, if you're interested at all in Homesteading even in a small way, this group and this recipe need to be in your life.

Creamy Tuscan Garlic Chicken

This has been a great week of entrees. I tried a new recipe almost every night. Tonight was the "creme-de-la-creme" so to speak. ;) This was a melt-in-your-mouth delight. The only thing I would have changed is to add mushrooms. I also doubled the recipe for our hungry teenager guests. This recipe is a must try!

Pistachio Pudding Cookies

Ok, I'm convinced. Any cookies I make from now on will have pudding mix in them. In this elevation, they come out chewy and moist. It's amazing! For this recipe, I didn't have pistachios so I added (ice cream) nut topping and white chocolate chips-Yum! Having fun using up my pudding boxes. :)